If you haven’t found your way over to Crimson Tied Paragear’s facebook page, you need to go right now. No, really—stop reading, click on his page, look around, and click like. You’re welcome.
I was most fortunate to win a giveaway a few weeks ago for a piece of paracord awesomeness handmade by Michael “Bama” Katt, the sole proprietor of Crimson Tied Paragear. I was introduced to Crimson Tied’s page from a giveaway ran by another facebook page. In order to enter, I had to like all the pages involved. Lucky for me, Crimson Tied was one of those pages.
I stalked around Bama’s facebook page, admiring the many photos of custom paracord gear—from the pictures alone, you can tell he knows what he’s doing. But what kept me following the page was Bama’s commitment to customer service. On Crimson Tied’s page, Bama makes it clear that he stands behind his gear—guaranteeing it for his lifetime, not yours. You give it to your kid and he breaks it, Bama replaces it, simple as that. And to satisfy my thriftiness, his prices are sweet: $10 for a standard bracelet or monkey fist, including shipping. And he has package deals, which include a skull rattler, bracelet, and fist for only $40.
So, in the giveaway, I won a piece of gear Bama calls “The World’s Most Dangerous Zipper Pull.” Think of it as a scaled down monkey fist, like a vicious Pomeranian compared to a pit bull. I was uber-excited and took the opportunity to also order a standard bracelet when I messaged Bama about the zipper pull. In the email, I stated I was thinking about using the pull as a keychain. I asked if both could be made in the Think Blue Line color scheme. Bama replied, saying he hadn’t made the zipper pull in two colors, but since I was planning on using it as a keychain, he’d go ahead and upgrade it to a standard monkey fist: “If I’m going to be doing a prize giveaway anyhow I’d much rather give a man something he can really USE than something he can just find a use FOR. If you know you’ll be using it on your keys I really think you’ll be happier with the full size. I can do that. It’s my company!”
My mouth dropped open a little bit when I read the message. Bama elaborated, “I’m going to run this company the way I was raised: trustworthy and honest. Everything I make is guaranteed for life, period. No fine print, no surprises. Even if you break it on PURPOSE; if you ever need to untie that bracelet to access the cord for emergency use just tell me the story and I’ll make you a new one for free. Forever.”
And that’s what I love about small businesses, the ones who really get it. That’s why I give them my money. And that’s why you should do business with Bama, too. But let me tell you about my gear, first.
My bracelet and monkey fist came in the mail just a few days after I mailed payment for the bracelet. I was giddy. I’ve never owned any paracord bracelets or other gear before—a lot of friends at the PD wear bracelets, but I was a little disappointed in the quality. Either they seemed loosely tied, or they used buckles that weren’t curved. And some were tied with an awkward knot at the end that seemed impossible to take off. The bracelet Bama made for me was none of these things. The bracelet feels tough and durable, tightly woven and tied off to the curved quick-release buckle. And while the bracelet feels substantial in your hand, it is incredibly comfortable to wear. That’s because Bama makes each one, individually, for the customer. There’s no small, medium, and large sizes here. Measure your wrist, find a comfortable length you like, and Bama will make that size, exactly. Or he’ll fix it. This self-measurement might be the only negative part someone might find with buying from Crimson Tied. If you don’t own a tape measure, it might be difficult to measure your wrist. But there are ways to do it, which Bama can share with you. In the end, it’s worth it. I had my wife help me with her tape measure, and I found that 7.5 inches was the ideal length—not too tight and not too loose. The bracelet I got measures exactly 7.5 inches around the inside.
The ends of cord are melted and shaped so that they are smooth against your skin, and the end is left so it can be undone in an emergency, giving you access to plenty of paracord. Yeah, I love it.
The monkey fist is equally impressive—a 7/8 steel core wrapped in paracord, with a steel shackle at the opposite end for keychain use. You’d think a small steel bearing wrapped in paracord wouldn’t seem that impressive. As soon as I lashed it to my keyring, though, I saw possibilities. Sure, it makes my keys so much easier to find in my pockets. No more digging all the way to the bottom of a pocket. (Yes, I carry too much in my pockets—didn’t you see the picture of my EDC?) On top of that, though, the little monkey fist could make a formidable melee weapon in a last-ditch defense. Swinging the fist around in my living room like a thin-blue-line ninja, I realized a good hit upside a person’s noggin would leave one serious mark.
Crimson Tied Paragear makes some awesome products—just look at the pictures. And all of it is guaranteed for Bama’s lifetime. (Except for the soon-to-be-released dog toys—those are meant to be destroyed.) Bama is the kind of small business owner you wish all business owners were—he stands by his products and he strives to do right by his customers.
My only problem now is if I’m going to get a skull rattler or hand (sanitizer) grenade next.